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Advertising and Marketing: The Problem with “Global” Advertising

Canadian advertisers are often given the direction from their US parent companies to use the same advertisements in Canada as have already been produced for the US. There is a constant tension between the cost efficiencies of using the same ads on both sides of the border and the very real issues posed by conflicting requirements. Contrary to what some may think, it isn’t that easy to import US advertising to Canada (even if you exclude Quebec). Several issues arise, from the substantiation of claims (what if the formula is not the same in Canada as the one in the US on which the claim is based?) to the respondent base for the research (even if the formula is the same where were the tests conducted?) to the allowable claims (are you permitted to make the same claim in Canada as is permitted in the US?) to the requirements for the use of flags and currency, and other intellectual property issues.

Bottom line – if you think that you will be required to use advertising that is original to another country, it is much easier to get Canadian legal advice up front and be involved in shooting alternate frames or voiceover when the original ad is being developed, or even conducting additional research, than to try to adapt and fit “a square peg to a round hole” at a later time.

 

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